Monday, March 14, 2011

A Flaw in the Blood

Book:  A Flaw in the Blood
Author:  Stephanie Barron
Like/Don't Like:  Nah.  Not much.  Sigh.

Is it me?  Or is it Winter?  Is it my reading ennui that has tainted everything I pick up?  Or is it just plain mediocre writing?  Because it's been ages since I've enjoyed a book.  And I specifically picked this one up because I love Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen Mystery series.  They're fantastic reads.  But this one?  It was like hearing a sad trombone while eating unbuttered toast.

The plot centers around Patrick Somebody (it's been a few weeks since I've finished.  It's all pretty hazy.), an Irish barrister living in London, and Some Girl Whose Name I Can't Remember Because She Was So Underdeveloped Even Though She Was a Central Character, and Queen Victoria, of all people.  Prince Albert has just died and the Queen is a wreck, and Patrick and the Girl have some clues to Albert's death that Victoria doesn't want the public to know of so she sends some German henchman out to kill them.  They must unravel the mystery before that happens.

The plot sounded interesting and I've always thought that Barron was a gifted writer when it comes to pacing a mystery. But this was was pretty weak all around.  It switched between several POVs (a pet peeve, as you well know) and it just didn't go anywhere.  Sure, it traveled all over London and the Alps but the story just dragged without any real revelations until the very end and by that point it didn't seem so revelatory or earth shattering as it should have. 

There's supposed to be a new Jane Austen Mystery (and I really do recommend them, which is rare because I don't normally sign on for knock-offs of classics) and I'll have to give that a try to get this one out of my head.

1 comment:

Heath said...

"It was like hearing a sad trombone while eating unbuttered toast."
I love you.